Sunday, 9 November 2008

Political cartoon archive online

The University of Kent has put its extensive archive of political cartoons on line:

I used the search function to find cartoons about the post-war prime minister, Clement Attlee, generally regarded as one of the outstanding prime ministers of the 20th century. The first cartoon I came up with was one about the Irish sweepstake which just shows that you need to know some obscure history to put this in context.

This was really a form of offshore gambling. When he was a young man (in the inter-war period), my father used to travel over to Ireland at the weekend to buy pre-ordered tickets in the Irish hospital sweepstake. As a railway worker, he could make these journeys more cheaply than anyone else could, but it must have involved some rough crossings on the Irish Sea now and then. But probably he had the same genetic make up as me, as I have never been sea sick, even in some very rough seas.

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